The islands of Boa Vista and Maio have recently signed agreements with SpaceX bringing Starlink installations to these two islands. SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk and is a manufacturer of spacecraft and satellite communications. It is based in California in the USA. Starlink is the satellite based internet system operated by SpaceX. In Cape Verde Starlink has already been introduced to some other parts of the country.
The result of this agreement is the promise of improved internet, reaching even remote areas of the islands. The Starlink satellite broadband makes internet coverage more extensive than is possible through more conventional cable-based systems. SpaceX has made some considerable investments in Cape Verde.
People will welcome the improvement in the coverage and speed of the broadband. However some are concerned about this system of internet provision. The cost of the service has also been found to be beyond the reach of many households in the Cape Verde. The concerns that have been mentioned include compromised cyber security, interference with communications systems, light pollution, effects on astronomy and possible increases in radiation. However, these concerns can be allayed if full answers to the issues raised are analysed and communicated effectively. If any are found to be justified, then attention needs to be paid to rectifying the problems.
On other islands Starlink has been greeted with mixed views. Some users have confirmed faster connection speeds, while others have found it slow and with some outages. However, the provision of reliable fast internet to people wherever they happen to live and work is important. This scheme has the potential to offer that.
[12 April 2023]